Thanksgiving Meatballs


Until I became a cook, Thanksgiving didn’t seem like a very good food day. Dry turkey, weird green bean thing, brown gravy, mushy yams, pie, jello, … Well, the jello was actually pretty good. Stuffing had some flavor, but only if it was cooked in the bird… and now we all know thats unsafe. #salmonella

As a meal, it struck me as bland and mushy. Food for people without teeth… or taste buds. I have a feeling that most people really enjoy the idea of stuffing themselves with food all day and have lots of nostalgia over the smells and sights of the iconic meal.

But once the meal is over, the real culinary enjoyment commences the following day, when people everywhere make the lauded post-turkey day sandwich which blends together the flavors of the meal to make something actually tasty. The sweet cranberry, the herbacious stuffing, creamy mayo on meaty turkey between some bread… Yum.

That nostalgia is what we are aiming at with this dish. The legitimately tasty flavors of that post-Thanksgiving meal made accessible to all any day of the week. No need to defrost a bird and roast for 6 hours. Heck, you don’t even have to make your own cranberry sauce!

Serve this anytime with some roasted yams, brussels sprouts, or potatoes for a complete satisfying meal.


Thanksgiving Meatballs

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 medium/large stalk celery, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg
3/4 c. almond meal
1-2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. minced rosemary
salt and pepper

10 oz. cranberry sauce, Recipe here or store bought

(If store bought, add 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar)

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a skillet, add a bit of olive oil and sauté onion, garlic, and celery until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside until slightly cooled.
  3. In a large bowl add all ingredients except the cranberry sauce (and vinegar, if using).
  4. Mix ingredients well and shape into smallish balls (a cookie scoop  works well if you have one). Place balls into greased baking dish.
  5. Bake for 15 mins.
  6. Remove from oven and spread cranberry sauce over the par-cooked meatballs. Return to oven for about 10 mins to finish cooking.

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